By WENDY HARGREAVES
Don’t want to leave your four-legged friend at home? There are plenty of options in Melbourne. Rules about dogs in cafes and restaurants can be confusing, but venue owners have the discretion to allow canine friends to sit nicely with their owners, so long as they’re not within 10 metres of food preparation areas.
Chapel Street is leading the way. This month, Chapel St became the first major shopping precinct in Australia to roll out the red carpet to dogs and cats. More than 350 traders (and 70 cafes and restaurants) have special paw stickers on their front windows to let fur baby owners know they’re welcome. So if you want your furry best friend by your side, here are five of the best places to do it in Melbourne.
- 195 Johnston St, Collingwood, (03) 9417 4253
- Melbourne’s first dedicated dog cafe, Dog House is a haven for pooch owners and their four-legged friends. Check out the deli fridge full of raw dog treats while your dog gets a wash, cut and blow dry from the pooch parlour on premises. Then let your pup have a run in the big courtyard while you enjoy coffee, panini, home-made spanakopita and cake. Canine treats include puppy cupcakes, doggychinos and bones of all shapes and sizes. There’s even dog beer made from bone broth.
- 644 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
- This pub doesn’t just welcome dogs. The friendly staff encourages them. They even have an Instagram page devoted to all things canine at the pub (@dogs_of_gnh). There’s a big beer garden and a great pub menu.
- Flinders Walk on the Yarra River, Melbourne
- Arbory, the 150-metre long bar that runs along the Yarra behind Flinders Street Station, is an outdoor haven for dog lovers. With a crowd-pleasing menu and fabulous drinks list, all you need to do is find a sunny spot.
- 72 Willsmere Rd, Kew
- Excellent drinks, tasty pizza, charcuterie, cheese and a magnolia-lined garden to sit with your furry best friend… what else do you need in a dog-friendly venue? Side Door is a massive hit with Kew locals.
- Collingwood Children’s Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, (03) 9415 6581
- Open seven days from 9am, this country-in-the-city retreat serves hearty, delicious food at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, so animals of all shapes and sizes are always welcome.